Chapter 1: Principles of Government

mrfarshtey.net

Chapter 1: Principles of Government

. A respect for the equality of all persons;c. A faith in majority rule and an insistence upon minority rights;d. An acceptance of the necessity of compromise;e. An insistence upon the widest possible degree of individual freedom.Each generation must develop the skills with which to solve these problems.C. Fundamental Worth of the Individual1. Democracy insists on the worth and dignity of all. Each individual is a separate and distinctbeing.2. Sometimes the welfare of one person must be subordinated to the interest of the many. People canbe forced to do certain things whether they want to or not. For example, individuals must obeytraffic signals, pay taxes, go to school, etc.3. When people are forced to do something, it is serving the interest of many individuals,representing society.D. Equality of All Persons1. Democracy insists on equality of opportunity, not necessarily equality of condition.2. Democracy insists on equality before the law.3. No person should be held back for reasons of race, color, culture, religion or gender.NOTE: The concept we now hold is quite different from the one the Framers had in mindwhen the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Then, neither African-American or womenwere equal under existing law. Almost 80 years passed before the Constitution was amendedto abolish slavery, and 50 more years until women had the right to vote. Only in the last 40years has our present concept of "equality" for all people taken shape, 200 years after theBill of Rights was passed.E. Majority Rule and Minority Rights1. Democracy argues that the majority will be right more often and wrong. The majority have a"right" to be wrong. Thus, the majority rule is the popular rule.2. Democracy searches for satisfactory solutions to public problems. It can be a trial and errorprocess. Democracy recognizes that seldom is any solution to a public problem so satisfactory thatit cannot be improved upon.3. The majority must recognize the right of the minority, by fair and lawful means, to become themajority. The majority must always be willing to listen to a minority's argument, to hear itsobjections, to bear its criticisms, and welcome its suggestions.F. Necessity for CompromiseCompromise Defined: The process of reconciling competing views and interests in order to find theposition most acceptable to the largest number.1. Compromise allows citizens to make public decisions. To reconcile competing views. Mustcompromise if all are truly seen as equal, and public policy questions seldom are presented in two


simple sides.2. Compromise is not an end in itself but a means to reach a public goal. Not all compromises aregood, and not all are necessary.G. Individual Freedom1. Freedom cannot be absolute, or anarchy will result. Democracy does not and cannot insist oncomplete freedom. Anarchy leads to rule by the strongest, best armed, and the ruthless.Anarchy Defined: The total absence of government.2. American democracy strives to strike a balance between liberty and authority. Democracy insiststhat each individual must be as free to do as he or she pleases as far as the freedom of all willallow.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines